Stephen B. Carey wrote:It honestly boggles my mind why we don't use DMU's more in the US. After being on many different units in both Ireland and England, they seem like a comfortable reliable way to travel. I know we had issues with the RDC's, and more importantly the SPV's but why can we use proven off the shelf technology from Siemens or Alstom that is alreay in use? It is exactly what we are doing with the new Acela, why couldn't work over here. The New Haven to Springfield line would be a great place for these units.We don’t use DMUs because the FRA mandates higher coupler strength than the Europeans do, meaning that the lightweight models in use in Europe can’t operate here without a special waiver, which seems to be more trouble than they’re worth, considering Amtrak’s never tried it before now.
Feel free to rebuke my statements, maybe there is something I am missing.
There are some European models in service, but they’re on closed circuits (no freight traffic), so they’re essentially light rail units. I doubt they’ll be used for Chicago-Quincy or any existing corridor service out of Chicago because the Chargers were ordered with the current services in mind and replacing the old equipment with new. If Amtrak was planning on expanding the Zephyr and Sandburg and other services, then maybe it could happen, but regulatory hurdles need to be jumped before it happens. We’ll know more if/when an RFP or RFQ is issued for DMUs/integrated sets.